How should we manage our natural areas and biodiversity into the future?

The three District Plans (Buller, Grey and Westland), came into effect in the early 2000’s, and contain provisions around managing our natural areas and biodiversity. 

This questionnaire focuses on some key matters that need to be included in the Plan in relation to: 

  • The protection of areas of indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna; 
  • Having regard to the intrinsic values of ecosystems. 

We want to understand how effective you consider the current Plans have been in managing our natural areas and biodiversity, and where improvements are needed. 

In this questionnaire you will find a series of questions to prompt your thinking. A summary of the current planning provisions is also included for your reference. 


The current situation 

This is an opportunity to reflect on the various district plan provisions, the plan objectives policies and rules, as Te Tai o Poutini Plan is developed. A summary of the current planning provisions for the management of our natural areas and biodiversity across the region are summarized below: 

Buller District Plan 

Objective

To protect areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna and to recognise their importance to the character and quality of the natural and physical environment and to the wellbeing of the people and communities in Buller. 

Policies 

  • Take into account effects of land use activities on natural habitats and ecosystems when considering development proposals
  • Encourage protection and enhancement of natural values of wetlands, estuarine habitats, whitebait spawning areas, significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna
  • Control modification of significant natural wetlands to protect their values and significance.
  • Identify significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna using consistent criteria through the resource consent process. 

Grey District Plan

Objective

The protection and where possible enhancement of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna. 

Policies

  • To identify and recognize areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna
  • To avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the ecological integrity, functioning and habitat values and natural character of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna
  • To reduce the effect that pests, including the introduction of new pests, can have on significant areas of indigenous vegetation and habitats of fauna 

Westland District Plan

Objectives

  • To recognize and provide for the unique values and importance of natural environments and ecosystems in Westland
  • To recognize that the people of the district can provide for their needs within the context of sustainable management
  • To protect the integrity, functioning and health of indigenous flora and fauna

Policies

  • Avoid/remedy/mitigate adverse effects on the integrity, functioning and health of natural habitats and ecosystems and indigenous species
  • Encourage the protection and enhancement of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and habitats of indigenous fauna
  • Control the modification of natural wetlands to protect their values
  • Protect areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenousfauna. In particular, target those indigenous vegetation types occurring in alluvial and coastal areas. Evaluate significant natural areas with consistent criteria. 

Current District Plan rules 

Buller District Plan rules 

Rural zone 

  • Clearance of indigenous vegetation (other than manuka, kanuka and bracken) between 0.5ha and 5ha per site over a 3-year period is a Controlled Activity.
  • Clearance of indigenous vegetation of more than 5 ha in a 3-year period is a Discretionary Activity.
  • Indigenous vegetation clearance within 25m of a wetland greater than 0.5ha in size, 20m of a lake and 10m of a river or stream more than 3m wide requires a Non Complying Activity Resource Consent. 

Grey District Plan rules 

Rural zone 

  • Clearance of any identified Significant Natural Area requires a Discretionary Activity resource consent.
  • Indigenous vegetation clearance within 25m of a wetland greater than 0.5ha in size, 20m of a lake and 10m of a river or stream more than 3m wide requires a Discretionary Activity Resource Consent. 

Westland District Plan rules 

Rural zone 

  • Clearance of more than 2,000m2 of indigenous vegetation per 5 years per site requires a Discretionary Activity Resource Consent:
    a) Where the contiguous land is managed for conservation purposes, or
    b) From an area of indigenous vegetation more than 5ha in size, or
    c) From a natural wetland.
  • Indigenous vegetation clearance within 25m of a wetland greater than 2ha in size, 20m of a lake and 10m of a river or stream more than 3m wide requires a Non Complying Activity Resource Consent 

There are also additional specific native vegetation clearance rules in the Franz Alpine Resort and Kumara Junction Developments Ltd areas.


Questions